Thanks to @Paul4Jags on Twitter for inspiring this route which follows the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh across Glasgow. Tired of running the same streets during lockdown, Paul made a half marathon route to appreciate Glasgow’s famous architect. Check out his Glasgow Punter blog for fantastic photos and a wee history lesson of his Mackintosh run (it’s also good for a read about his musings about all things Glasgow). If you’re interested in finding out more about Charles Rennie Mackintosh, check out the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society.
Our route differs slightly from Paul’s by starting and finishing at the Mackintosh statue in Anderston/Finnieston but otherwise takes in the same sights. Our 14 mile route snakes through the West End, on to the Necropolis then Southside. Your running tour will take in:
Starting where St Vincent Street becomes Argyle Street, start your watches at the foot of the impressive statue which looks over you as you make your way to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum which is home to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow Style gallery. After running round the right side of the Art Gallery and along Kelvin Way, take a left up University Avenue and turn right into the university library where you’ll see the peculiar door of The Mackintosh House sitting above your head.
Continue straight on until you reach Great Western Road, taking a left to the Botanic Gardens then running on the roads behind the park and up Shakespeare Street. Cross the traffic lights at Maryhill Road to reach Ruchill Church Hall, which as Paul says is now overshadowed by the later church building next to it. After passing the hall, run onto the canal for a short spell and re-join Maryhill Road at the fire station. Stay on the left-hand side so that you get up close to Queen’s Cross Church which is home to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. Cross at the traffic lights to stay on Maryhill Road to St. Georges Cross then follow St George’s Road to cross over the M8.
As soon as you cross the motorway, continue straight up Renfrew Street towards Glasgow School of Art. Sadly, due to the fires and utter destruction that they caused, the street is closed off and The Mackintosh Building is surrounded by scaffolding. Detour up round Scott then Hill Street then head back down Dalhousie Street and continue to Bath Street where The Glasgow Art Club sits at 185.
Head back to Sauchiehall Street, make sure you don’t miss the Willow Tea Rooms at 217 (it’ll be on your right side), and run along to Buchanan Bus Station, crossing over to Townhead where you follow the path through the houses all the way to the end. Run up past and behind the church where the path will take you round to Martyrs School which sits opposite St Mungo’s.
Follow the path down onto Castle Street then through Glasgow Cathedral and cross the bridge over to the Necropolis. The gravestone of Alexander McCall, which is an early work of Mackintosh, is in the lower graveyard facing towards Tennent’s Brewery. Check Mackintosh Architecture for what you’re looking out for.
Run back into town via Duke Street and George Square, taking a left on Hope Street then another left into Renfield Lane. Stereo café/bar is now housed in the ground floor of the old Daily Record Building so be sure to look up to see this Mackintosh. Afterwards zigzag your way to Mitchell Street for The Lighthouse, which was The Glasgow Herald Building. Continue down the lane onto Argyle Street and cross the river via Jamaica Street.
Once you reach West Street, you follow part of the Great Scottish Run route and pass Scotland Street School on your left and continue on to Bellahouston Park via Maxwell Drive, Nithsdale Road and Dumbreck Road. Follow signs for House for an Art Lover then run down past the sculpture park to exit Bellahouston. After a short spell on Paisley Road West, turn left down Whitefield Road then right past the Science Centre, BBC and STV studios. Cross the river via the Clyde Arc and run up Finnieston Street (watch at the busy M8 traffic lights) and back to Big Charlie.